Author' note: This is my first M*A*S*H-fanfiction . This idea for this story came to me during watching the movie "Pleasantville" and what funny and crazy things would happen if someone "beams" right into its favorite TV-series. I'm from Germany and it took me a lot of work to get this translated in English, so please apologize me not perfect English. I hope you enjoy it and criticism is greatly appreciated, please send any comment, good or not, to:

The Experiment: Too Good To Be True

by Nicky

I hurried home because I had an important TV-Rendezvous today: My favorite TV-series was on the air again. Although I already knew every episode of M*A*S*H by heart from long video-nights, it is always something special to see live on TV!

I had to hurry now, just got some new batteries for the remote control. Oh boy, when did batteries get this expensive? I was told by the strange salesman, that these batteries were something special. Their longevity would reach magical power...........Okay, I would see how long it would work.

Well, I finally made it home! Only five minutes left until M*A*S*H began. Actually I was really excited. I didn't know which episode would be on today. Well, it would be a surprise with anticipated joy! Quickly I fumbled these highly expensive super luxury ultra strong magical batteries into the remote control. Nervously I checked my watch. Where was Susan?! My friend and I sometimes watched it together. Just in the nick of time, I switched the TV on. In a hurry I searched for chips. The credit titles were already on. Ahhh, how I love this music and the incoming choppers! I love to watch the nurses run over the viewing screen and the solider and medics dash upstairs. I love Hawkeye with that terrible hat and funny Hawaiian-Shirt, as he makes the sign to "follow me" to the others. Immediately thereafter a close up of his face would come.....damn it - the door bell rang right in this moment. Susie finally came! We hurried back in the living room and fell back in the sofa. In this hectic state of mind, I didn't notice the remote control which was lying on the sofa and sat directly on it. Suddenly strange things happened: Some sort of wake or maelstrom , which seemed to come from the TV-set grasped us. We were being spun around the living room. It was just like overcoming gravity - like you do loops in a roller coaster. The spatial and temporal dimensions were totally gone. I felt my guts being turned upside down. Naturally, I panicked !! I was to be contained in absolutely chaos and no spiritual or physical power could have saved me. I was moving in circles until I was overwhelmed by a dizzy sickness and finally unconsciousness relieved me.

Noise! Terrible noise, which sounded like the rotors of a helicopter. Voices. Terrible confusion slowly trickled into my regaining consciousness. I stayed motionless and tried to get past the nausea and pain which tormented my body before I fainted. I didn't try to regain consciousness. Like in slow motion, I felt a hand spanning around my throat and I felt my pulse throbbing against it. At the same time, a dazzling light flashed into my blurred consciousness. It was awfully painful !! Then the other eyelid was lifted up as well. Oh lord, I must have had an accident, I thought - a pleasant darkness surrounded me again. I heard a voice saying "No external injuries, doctor", far away. With an enormous effort, which produced beads of perspiration on my upper lip, I finally collected enough strength to open my eyes. It took some time to get a clear vision. Then I saw a man bending over me who looked exactly like Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce and he was waving a syringe around the air. HAWKEYE?! Oh, I must be dreaming, I smiled! Was this a state of coma?! Another vertigo came over me, apparently caused by the fact that I was moved again. Someone must have turned me over. I would really have liked to protest, but I was too weak and dizzy. I suddenly froze by a short stitch somewhere at my backside and I cried out loudly: "Ouch, since when does dreams sting??"

Little by little, I realized, that someone must have gotten to my bottom to give me a shot. Somehow I could not coordinate my thoughts with my movements. Then I spotted a longhaired blond woman who was taking my blood-pressure. Amusingly, this woman looked precisely like Margaret Houlihan! Oh boy, I must have been hurt real bad. What had happened ?! I couldn't remember a damned thing?! Apparently I was suffering from a total lack of memory. Where was I? What was happening to me? I was not at all alone?! SUSIE! That's right, Susie was with me! "Susie, where are you?" I called for her and tried to sit up. Energetic hands tried to hold me down.

"Easy, easy. You're safe! You're at the 4077, it's a MASH-unit. You might have a serious concussion. The shot must be working now. Your colleague is over there. She's not hurt as bad as you. Potter is looking after her. Seems she has only broken her wrist", the guy who looked so damned similar to Hawkeye explained.

He didn't only look like Hawkeye, he also had his voice and was even wearing the same red bathrobe: " Do you remember anything? What happened to you?! What's your name? You're not wearing a dog-tag! Where are you from?! From the aid station?" This similarity to my series darling made me so perplexed that I didn't respond to any of his questions. The surroundings were really frightening, which I now in unbelieving amazement realized . Green tents every where. Wooden barracks with sheet-roofs. Army-jeeps and a very old bus were standing around the compound. Now and then the air was filled with the sound of a detonation. I was lying in the dirt on a improvised stretcher and all around me, hectic and busy people were wearing khaki- and white clothes. All these impressions and my conjectures were stretching sluggish through my mind like chewing gum. They must have administered me a hallucinogenic drug! Apparently, I was suffering from more than a concussion!

My "Hawkeye-double" patted my shoulder: "Just relax, stay calm! I'll be back later to check on you. I have to hurry into OR. I'd much rather like to stay here and hold hands with you , but this butcher shop inside needs me more". Then he twinkled to me in typical Hawkeye style.

"In the meantime we will do some nice portrays of the inside of your head, just as a precaution, to see if everything is where it is supposed to be!"

Caught up in this beautiful dream, I dozed off, in the blissful hope, that the alarm clock would never ring again........

I was awakened by a huge embrace. Someone had fallen to my neck. Confused and alarmed I sat up:

"Hey Susie, what's up?! Oh, it's such a pity, I've just had such a beautiful dream! With Hawkeye in it. What's the matter?!"

Susie's expression left me frozen. She looked like she would burst straight into laughter tears or start crying: "My God, I'll tell you how happy I am, that I can talk to you, Nicky! How are you? How do you feel? Do you see the same things I do? I must be going crazy!"

With increasing discomfort I sat up and noticed my surrounding with amazement, and got more and more surprised .

We found ourselves in a first aid- or storage-room, or was it a lab or an examination-ward? The walls were of plywood and the roof was of corrugated sheet. All very primitive. Cupboards containing a lot of first aid packets and boxes filled with medicine. There were bottles with odd solutions , and big army-green lockers with big red crosses painted on the front . Behind a curtain, I discovered a very old X-ray machine and on one side of the table, I saw an ancient microscope and some test tubes . Right in the middle of all this, I found myself sitting on a stretcher with Susan standing in front of me, wringing her hands......I couldn't find any words to describe it!

Now I must have had the same expression as my friend. I didn't know if I should be amused or totally terrified.

I took a deep breath: "Oh God, where are we?! Please pinch me, I think I'm going crazy as well! Do you know what this looks like? It looks exactly like in the first aid room of the M*A*S*H-camp!!!!!!"

Susie nodded: "You wouldn't believe what I've seen since we arrived here......."

"What do you mean exactly ?" I cut Susie short.

"When I regained consciousness , Colonel Potter looked after me! I thought I was dreaming . Something was quite wrong with the picture. We've gotten into something, which is too much for my mind........." Susie explained. "Ouch, I have broken my wrist, but they haven't had time to put it into plaster yet, 'cause a lot of casualties have arrived," she talked confusingly. "Since then I've been lost in amazement. I do not understand a WORD??"

"One moment, easy Susie..., you mean...." I stuttered. "Say it again please....., Potter, casualties...., the choppers, this room here?! Are you telling me, that we've......", I laughed nervously, "no, this can't be real, this can't be true......" I tried to think, took a deep breath and touched my heart "You mean, I didn't just see Hawkeye in a dream..........." I exhaled quickly. "No, no, oh no, this guy which looked like Hawkeye........."

"Exactly........, uh, he didn't only look like Hawkeye....ah, uhhh....he IS Hawkeye " Susan completed.

"I'm green with envy that you got examined by Hawkeye and I got into Potter's hands......"

Suddenly I felt terrible hot and narrow down my throat: "Stop it, otherwise I'm going to faint again!"

"NO, please don't," Susie begged, "don't leave me here alone!"

"Do you remember anything?" I asked. I obvious had a gap in my memory. My head was ringing and awfully painful , and somehow my brain felt too small for my skull and was too overloaded to be able to understand anything. "What happened?", I asked Susie. "And where.....,how, uh,..... why.... did we get into this mess? It's like we've been sucked into the TV!"

"Hm, I came to your house, you opened the door and let me in. We then rushed to the living room", Susan tried to reconstruct it. "Think, M*A*S*H had just begun and then you must have thrown yourself onto the remote control and somehow we got catapulted straight into the credit titles........." We burst into roaring laughter. We were almost killing ourselves with laughter.

"Maybe we've landed in a time trap, some kind of a temporal paradox," I clowned and wiped my tears of laughter away.

"Hey, I have it: We've been exposed to a chronological radiation which caused a temporal shifting," Susie suggested .

"Oh boy, I think you are too obsessed with science fiction!" I grumbled.

"Yeah, and you with your stupid M*A*S*H!!!!!! Why we couldn't for Gods sake have been sucked into a series like 'STAR TREK'. They would have bigger chances to 'beam' us back again," Susie noticed.

" Just be glad we didn't watch 'Buffy', otherwise we would have to fight vampires."

"We are lucky we didn't end up in 'Quincy' either, otherwise we would might have ended up under his dissecting scalpel," Susie said dry.

"Don't say that out loud! Here they can amputate a leg or split your skull open. Remember," I said ironically, "we're only a few miles from the front!"

"Do you have any idea which episode we've been sucked into?! Hope you know all 251 by heart!"

"Hey, I am not THAT obsessed!" I protested. " I would say, we're in the season!"

"Is that the season were Ferret Face is still here or the one with my lovely Charles," Susie asked, laughing as usually cause we would always have endless discussions about her exceptional favorite.

I rolled my eyes: "I've got no idea! I don't know the complete series by heart, you know! Who have you met so far? Please tell me, I've missed everything by being unconscious! I remember, like in a dream, Houlihan, how she took my blood pressure and Hawkeye.....," I rubbed my bottom in unpleasant memory of the shot he gave me. And he really IS lousy with a needle!

"Hi hi, ha ha, you finally get to met your favorite Doc, and then he knocks you out cold at once," Susie teased me. Then she told me what had happened to her: "Well, when I regained consciousness we were both in the middle of triage, lying on the floor with all the other wounded surrounding us. Soon Potter came over and took care of my arm and asked thousands of questions about how we got wounded and why we were in civilian and without dog tags. You were still unconscious, that's why they called Pierce. I wasn't able to follow you anymore, because they took me inside to do some X-rays. Then they parked me in pre-op with all the other minor wounded. Somehow I got informed that you had been X-rayed as well and that you had a serious concussion. Hey, by the way, lay down again! I wouldn't sit up if I was you! Well, then they parked me here with you until the doctors are ready in OR ," Susan finished this unbelievable story.

My first reaction was: "Oh boy, nobody will believe a word of this!" How are we going to explain what we're doing here?! We are just two fans who always wanted to be live at the 4077.......... Oh Jesus, I think I going to have a heart attack! Have you told Potter any mad story yet?"

Susie sat down besides me on the stretcher and glanced sidelong: "Well...kind of! I told him that we are assistant-nurses on our way to R&R. But before he had any time to think about it, he was called to a seriously wounded. You must assist me in case they want details!"

"Oh swell! I hope we don't have to demonstrate our medical skills here", I was terrified. "Remember, we're not real nurses, we're only consulting room assistants who have to do more paperwork than attend to patients."

"Sorry, but it was the best idea I had," Susie maintained, shrugging her shoulders. "Hey, I was totally out of it, you know, like you are now! Honest, I don't understand what's going on here..........To everybody who asked me, I've told them, that I don't remember how this accident happened! You should do the same! Do you have the faintest idea how we're supposed to get out of this mess?!"

"The alarm clock will ring right now and reveal that it was all just a nightmare," I suggested. "Hmm, suppose the best thing would be to pretend amnesia, War fatigue or something it that direction...... we simply can't remember anything!"

"I don't know?! If they should send us to a funny farm you could faint again or just act any other shocking condition," Susan advised .

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